Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Once in awhile, we get the chance to meet people who remind us how blessed we are.

Every evening I walk home after work from the el. Several of those evenings this summer, I have encountered a fellow walker going the opposite direction about my age. The only difference between he and I is that I'm coming from work and he's not. Oh, and that I am fully physically capable and it's obvious he is not anymore. He is out doing his best to make his way around the block unassisted. I am not sure what issues are afflicting him--my mind jumps to ALS--but the struggle to walk around the block he is enduring makes light of any so-called 'pains' I persevere through at work.

I recently was passed on an article that shares another person who makes the most of what he has been given.
Blind since age 3, Ben Underwood skateboards, shoots hoops and plays video games. How does he do it? Just like bats and dolphins.
Ben is an inspiration. Here is a youngster who is able to make his way about without a cane, a dog, or any other assistance, and without the aid of sight. My cousin is also blind. He has been since a car accident at age 15. I am struck in his case, as seems to be Ben's case, at the tenacity and grit that have become second nature as he moves through the world as effortlessly as most of us do. Memorizing floor plans and hearing things we don't become habits.

Ben has learned to perceive and locate objects by making a steady stream of
sounds with his tongue, then listening for the echoes as they bounce off the
surfaces around him.
Says an expert in the field,
Ben pushes the limits of human perception.
Says Ben,
I'm a normal kid.

Truly, an inspiration to us all.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Truly amazing (and inspiring).